July 14th is a national holiday in France and there are firework displays everywhere. They're often staggered around the 14th, partly because firework engineers can't be everywhere at once and partly so that, as in our case, people from one village can enjoy neighbouring villages' fireworks on consecutive nights.
Ours was on the 13th. The village we live in, with its mediaeval tower and bridge, is a superb backdrop for firework displays. We went out for a meal with M (who took this splendid photo) and Mme Hector to a terrace restaurant which overlooks the bridge, the river and the village rising behind it, a super vantage point for watching the display. In the event we got rather more pyrotechnics than we bargained for.
Firework photos are two a penny, so I won't bore you with those. However the end, the finale, of the display was marked by what they call l'embrasement, the burning, of the bridge and tower. It's all done with red flares. All very lurid and diabolical.
It was over by 11.30. Our half-mile walk home was unexpectedly interrupted by a small forest fire in a pinewood just the other side of the valley. Most forest and heath fires start by the roadside, but as there was no path or track nearby we could only assume that a rocket stick or something similar from the village display had fallen in the tinder-dry pinewood and . . . we'd hardly uttered these ideas before the first fire engine appeared, followed at short intervals by five more.
There wasn't much to see, so we walked on home. By the time J. and I got in, all of five minutes later, the fire was out. They don't hang about, these fire crews. So I've no photo of this, but as a small consolation here's a photo of a forest fire across the valley from a year or two ago, when a vast area of wooded mountainside caught fire. Terrifying, especially if the wind's blowing in your direction. The most effective fire-fighting in areas inaccessible by road is done by aircraft, but they can't of course fly at night. (It was put out the next day.)
Even so the night's pyrotechnics weren't over. Climbing up the steps from the road to the house I noticed this tiny green light shining on a stone in the wall. We see these lights now and again in summer, but they're not very common. It was too feeble to photograph without flash and I don't have a long-exposure tripod, so here it is by flashlight, in the middle of the biggest stone. If you enlarge it you can see it better. It's a glowworm. No doubt it was celebrating the capture of the Bastille as well.